Updated on October 23, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
As long as good looks pay, there will be a premium on everything that makes you look good. This includes the beautiful clothes you wear – and for clothes to be presentable, they have to be smooth and unwrinkled.
The premium for unwrinkled clothes involves the time and energy you spend ironing them to their pristine conditions.
Are there ways in which you do not have to invest so much time and effort into pressing, ironing, etc, and still look good? . I mean ways to prevent wrinkles at the base.
What causes wrinkles on clothes in the first place?
You do not have to just blame yourself for treating your clothes shabbily or scrunching them up inside storing spaces; Fabric is naturally inclined to wrinkle.
Fabric is made up of bound molecules. Bending, crushing, and folding of cellulosic materials (cotton, linen, rayon) causes strain on their polymer bonds and wrinkles.
When there is pressure applied to hydrogen bonds between the cellulose chains, they can distort or break. In addition to pressure, moisture or heat combined with moisture cause fabric to wrinkle more – this includes perspiration, keeping it in a wet and humid place or during washing and drying. The bonds then rearrange themselves, forming new bonds, resulting in the creases you see.
Cellulose-based materials such as cotton, linen, and rayon wrinkles far more than synthetic materials like Polyester and nylon clothes. You can read more about Wrinkle-free fabrics here.
So how do you prevent the wrinkling of clothes?
When you know how wrinkles are formed, you can reverse engineer it so that the wrinkles are not made in the first place, right?
Prevent the wrinkling with appropriate Washing cycles
Permanent press cycles in the washing machines are meant for wrinkle-free clothes – it automatically washes the clothes in a gentle cycle; the water flow is gentle, and the result is wrinkle-less clothes.
Another recommended cycle is a steam cycle. The steam cycle is supposed to deliver a deeper clean and can smooth out wrinkles and creases. However, not every washer has a steam cycle. You can create something akin to a steam cycle by using ice cubes inside during the drying phase.
If you do not have these cycles, ensure that you do not overstuff your machine when you wash. Your garments are more likely to come out crumpled and wrinkled if they don’t have enough room to move. Use a free-flowing wash and untangle clothes as soon as washing is over.
Do not use hot wash and rinse cycles for permanent press clothes.
Additives in the laundry can prevent unwanted creases.
Fabric softeners help to make your garments softer, smell better, and decrease wrinkles. Before you start the washing, add the required amount of fabric softener to the load. Dryer sheets are also said to be good to prevent wrinkles.
Dry the clothes properly
Take out clothes as soon as washing and drying is finished and hang to dry further. Do not keep them heaped in a bucket or inside the machine to form the wrinkles.
Preferably hang them with clips on a line.
Iron the clothes correctly
Though this is not a preventive measure for wrinkles, ironing clothes correctly can prevent wrinkles from appearing afterward.
Sometimes even after ironing, you would notice that your clothing is still wrinkled. This may be because the wrinkles or creases are set in.
Ironing totally dry garments may not remove the wrinkles thoroughly. To get rid of the most stubborn wrinkles, ironing the clothing while they’re still somewhat moist is desirable. Which is why steam pressing is so popular.
Moistening the fabric makes ironing easier and smooths out the wrinkles. So use a spray bottle while ironing. When ironing, use the appropriate heat setting. To avoid creating additional creases, pull the fabric tight and taut before ironing.
Please make sure that you hang your clothing up as soon as you finish ironing them. Hang the garments on a wooden hanger as quickly as possible. Hanging is better than keeping them folded, as folding can recreate wrinkles.
Store the clothes properly.
If your closet is overflowing, this is one more reason why your clothes are all wrinkled. They will inevitably get wrinkles when cramped inside, even if you have painstakingly ironed them. Perhaps it’s time to declutter!
Wooden hangers are recommended instead of wire hangers because wooden ones are very heavy and thick. The weight of your clothes can pull on the wire hanger, causing additional creases or puckering in the fabric.
Hangers should be spaced one or two inches apart so that the clothing will not rub against each other because they will not be in contact.
Ensure that your closet has enough depth that the hung clothes do not bunch against the wall and create more wrinkles. A depth of about 24 inches is recommended for hanging shirts and blouses properly without creasing them.
Prevent creases while wearing the clothes
Clothes can wrinkle while you’re wearing them. When you sit down, be careful that you do not crease your clothes. With a bit of care, you will not have the back of your shirt or blouse looking like you have been rolling through the alley. Just put it up when you sit.
Dress in the appropriate size. Your clothes are bound to wrinkle if they’re too tight and also, too loose.
Packing wrinkle-free clothes for travel
Stuffing your clothes into suitcases or bags is a sure way to make your garments wrinkle. Staying organized will keep your clothes from wrinkling while you’re on the road.
Because the garments brush and press against each other in bags and backpacks, they wrinkle. This generates a small amount of heat, which might cause wrinkles, especially if your garments are stuffed in there tightly folded.
Rolling is a good technique to maintain the clothes wrinkle-free inside a suitcase. Fold your garments along the seams to avoid creases and smooth any wrinkles away. After that, roll up your garments. Smoothing out wrinkles in the middle is crucial. T-shirts, slacks, casual dresses, swimwear, and pajamas are ideal for rolling, but bulkier garments, such as sweaters, are not. When rolled instead of folded, they can take up more room. But button-up shirts are a little difficult to roll and are more likely to develop wrinkles.
Fold one leg over the other to roll your jeans. Begin rolling at the ankles and work your way up to the waistband. Fold the arms back to create a long rectangle, fold the garment in half, and roll up from the bottom for tops. Because rolled items may be packed securely into luggage corners and edges, this technique helps avoid creases while saving room in your suitcase.
What to do if you want to prevent wrinkles or remove them with no iron in sight?
If you are in a place with no iron and you notice wrinkles on your clothes, the best hack is to the clothing over your curtain rail while having your hot shower or just after a hot shower. The steam from the hot water aids in the removal of the bothersome creases.
If you have some time, you can try the rolling method. Place the wrinkled item on a flat surface, smooth out any wrinkles, roll it up like a burrito, and then lay the garment under a mattress. This is a hack to ironing. And prevents and reduces wrinkling, atleast to an extent
Then there are clothes made of wrinkle free fabrics. Though many people do not like the feel of them, or are sceptical about the durability of the clothes, they sure are a convenient way to look presentable in wrinkle-less clothes.
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